Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Boko Haram Killed 600 Teachers, Displaced 19,000 – Nigeria Union of Teachers

No fewer than 600 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced since terror sect, Boko Haram, began its violence campaign in the North-East, the Nigeria Union of Teachers said on Monday.

The President of NUT, Michael Alogba, stated this in Abuja during the commemoration of this year’s World Teachers Day, with the theme ‘Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies’.
At the event, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, assured the teachers of his administration’s commitment to initiating policies that would reposition teachers education in the country.
According to him, government will continue to give priority to education as part of efforts to address challenges of illiteracy.
The low-key event was, however, wrapped up with the presentation of the President’s award of a brand new car to Mr. Alade Taiwo, a teacher at Dominic’s Primary School, Ondo State, who emerged as the best teacher in Nigeria for the year 2015.
According to the NUT, 308 teachers fell to the insurgents’ attacks in Borno State alone; 75 in Adamawa; 18 in Yobe; 25 in Kaduna; 120 in Plateau; 63 in Kano and two in Gombe State.
This year’s event was, however, different as only a handful of teachers across the country turned up for the annual event.
The NUT lamented the inability of the government to uncover the whereabouts of the missing Chibok girls more than 500 days after they were abducted by members of the Boko Haram.
Alogba said, “Insecurity in and around our schools is antithetical to the delivery of quality education in our school system. As teachers of primary and secondary schools, who are at the heart and foundation of education delivery and care to our children, we are devastated by the damage the atrocious activities of the Boko Haram sect have done to the education system as well as the lives and future of thousands of children particularly in the North-East of the country.
“The memory of the Chibok girls and thousands of others, whose potential and lives have been truncated remains traumatic and demoralising. Mr. President, it is on record that over 600 teachers have lost their lives to the terror attacks. These include 308 in Borno, 75 in Adamawa, 18 in Yobe, 25 in Kaduna, 120 in Plateau, 63 in Kano and two in Gombe State.
“This is in addition to over 19,000 teachers that have been displaced and are suffering great loses due to the barbaric activities of the insurgents.”
The NUT President also criticised the lopsided policies of the Federal Government on education, adding that the trend had encouraged undue commercialisation of education, rather than safeguarding the citizens right to quality education.

Speaking on the bailout funds to indebted states, Alogba said government should not hesitate to probe any erring state found to have diverted the funds to other sources.
 He said, “A number of states are yet to pay the backlog of salaries owed teachers. Such States argue that the money released to them is not a bailout fund for salaries but a normal loan to states meant to be utilised in any manner that pleases them, particularly in areas that will yield financial returns, which will guarantee their repayment.

“This argument is absurd and deceitfully too far from the truth as it is aimed at subjecting the workers to perpetual suffering. We therefore implore government to monitor the disbursement of this fund and not to hesitate to bring to book any government functionary, who diverted, misapplied or misappropriated this bailout funds.”


Punch Newspaper

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